An MP has called for positivity over controversial plans to expand the A27 in Worthing.
Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, made the comment after attending the A27 Working Group meeting at the Ricardo building in Shoreham last Thursday.
He was joined at the meeting by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, along with residents, business representatives and Worthing Borough councillors, including Tom Wye who chaired the event.
Speaking afterwards, Sir Peter said: “It is clear from the Inspector’s report in the 1990s, 20 years ago, that there will not be a replacement national road through the South Downs, using Long Furlong or the A283, A24 or A280.
“If appropriate, I would welcome a specific gathering of residents’ representatives to go through the reasoning.
“A South Downs route will always be ruled out for four practical reasons.
“It would not solve the traffic problems. It would not be cost effective. It would not reduce the death and injury risks on the existing A27. It would not be acceptable through the National Park.
“I ask leaders of residents to work with the local councils and with local interests including the businesses that employ many local residents.
“Together, we can consider the practical options. Together we can press for adequate funding to cut the dangers to locals of all ages, to reduce the pollution from traffic that crawls or stalls along our road. Together, we can bring A27 traffic back to the national road from the rat-running to the A259 and the coast road.
“There are about 300 residents whose homes have risky road entry and exit from and to the A27.
“With proper planning, these neighbours may have most to gain. The decades of delay have lasted too long. I ask everyone to be realistic and positive.”
Tim Loughton added that he and his colleague would be hosting a public meeting on the A27 in Worthing at the end of October, where officials from Highways England had been specifically invited.
Mr Loughton said that rumours of four to six lane highways in Worthing were dismissed at this meeting as ‘scare stories’ and that speed limits are unlikely to be altered.
He added that any work is unlikely to include major structural additions like flyovers and that he and Mr Bottomley would try to secure further funding if it was deemed necessary.
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